By: Georgina Campbell

Victoria University is expected to reveal today whether it will challenge the Education Minister’s decision to reject its name change proposal.

The move to be called the University of Wellington has sparked an outcry from Wellingtonians and former students who have signed a 13,000-strong petition against it.

It’s remained unclear whether the university would continue its name change fight after Chris Hipkins declined the proposal in December last year.

But the university has previously confirmed it received legal advice on the decision prompting it to consider there was a very high likelihood the minister’s decision was unlawfully made.

The university’s council is meeting today from 8.30am.

Agenda documents show Vice-Chancellor Professor Grant Guilford will give an oral update on the name change in the public part of the meeting, but the real decision-making and debate is expected to take place with the public excluded.

A press conference has been scheduled for 4.30pm this afternoon where both the Vice-Chancellor and Chancellor Neil Paviour-Smith will front up.

“The Victoria University of Wellington Council is expected to make a decision at its meeting on Monday on the best strategy for reducing offshore confusion about its name,” a university spokeswoman said.

When Hipkins announced his decision to decline the proposal he said that while the university had significant autonomy in making academic, operational and management decisions, it was accountable to its community and the groups which made up the university.

“I am not convinced that the university engaged sufficiently with the views of those stakeholders who should have their views considered.

“Given the level of opposition to the university’s recommendation, including by its own staff, students and alumni, I am not persuaded that the recommendation is consistent with the demands of accountability and the national interest.”

Guilford responded to the decision saying the university had three options.

Victoria could accept it, legally challenge it or trade under a different name to its legal one.

Source: NZ Herald


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